Clemson secures $4M grant to support mobile health care to rural areas > GSA Business

Clemson University School of Nursing has received a nearly $4 million grant to train nurses in mobile healthcare and ultimately increase the workforce to provide healthcare to patients in rural areas.

A grant was secured that would use nursing students from Clemson University on a bus for patients in rural areas.  (photo/provided)The Go Mobile: Rural, Nurse-led Expansion and Education of Diversity Workforce Practice for Underserved Populations in Appalachian and Midlands, South Carolina grant was funded by the US Health Resources and Services Administration.

The grant aims to provide educational programs whose graduates will increase the number of registered nurses from diverse backgrounds who provide nursing services to diverse, rural and underserved populations in the state’s Appalachian and Midlands regions, according to a press release. Additionally, the grant is designed to enhance interprofessional partnerships between Clemson University School of Nursing and two statewide health systems: Prisma Health and the SC Department of Mental Health. Both have mobile vans and the grant will go to nurses who join these mobile van team members to provide care in Oconee and Orangeburg counties.

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The school will host a diverse cohort of 45 financially supported students for 80 hours of immersion in expanded, nurse-led, mobile health practice positions.

Common obstacles for the rural population when looking for medical care are a lack of transport, medical costs or lack of insurance. According to a 2019 report, Oconee County ranked 11th out of 46 SC counties for health outcomes, and 14.5% of adults delay medical care because of cost; Orangeburg County ranked 37th for health outcomes and 17.1% of adults delay medical care because of cost.

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“Through this project, we have developed health services for rural populations that bring health care providers to patients in their own communities, thereby reducing delays in medical care,” Kathleen Valentine, project director and Clemson professor of nursing, said in the news publication. “In the short term, we will train caregivers for this mobile care model. Over the long term, we expect this model to prove effective and our partners will offer it as an ongoing option in their healthcare systems and eventually expand it across South Carolina.”

In addition to program training through the courses normally required, these students will study rural populations, social determinants of health, professionalism, COVID and innovative health technologies, mental health equity, decision-making and communication,” the press release reads. They will also help track access and multiple health outcomes including COVID and mental health.

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“This work is just one of the many ways the School of Nursing and College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences are fulfilling the university’s land grant mission,” Dean Leslie Hossfeld said in the press release. “We are proud of the important work the School of Nursing is doing to educate nurses in the care of rural communities.”

Ross Norton can be reached at 864-720-1222.

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